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Cape Cod Vacation Lodging for 18-Year Olds

by Rosie
(Agawam, MA)

Question: I'm an 18 year old and a few of my friends and I want to rent a hotel room or a small vacation house on Cape Cod. But we can't find where they will either rent to 18 year olds or allow a co-signer. Could you help me please?

Dee's Reply: Hi Rosie - There's only one option I can think of where the minimum rental age is 18. That's one of the state parks on the Cape. Either Nickerson State Park in Brewster or Shawme-Crowell State Forest in Sandwich.

State Park Accommodations

These are campgrounds. Not what you were thinking of, I know. But ... if you and your friends aren't into tent camping, Nickerson and Shawme-Crowell have yurts for rent, too.

Just in case you're not familiar with yurts, they're like a big tent with a domed ceiling, a solid floor, electric service, and basic furnishings (beds, table and chairs, etc.)

Compared with a hotel, motel, or rental cottage, renting a yurt is very inexpensive. For Massachusetts residents, they're $45 a night for a small yurt and $55 a night for a large one. Not a bad deal at all!

If you think a yurt might work out for you and your friends, let me know and I'll get back to you with more info about yurt rentals at Nickerson and Shawme-Crowell.

Vacation Rentals

A rental cottage would be perfect for you and your friends. Unfortunately, as you've already discovered, most rental owners aren't willing to rent to 18-year-olds, even with a co-signer.

If you have your hearts set on a small house or cottage, then here's my suggestion:

First, find a few rentals that you like, in your price range, preferred location, etc.

Next, have your parent contact the owner directly.

A telephone call to the owner is better than emailing him/her, because for this approach to have any chance of success, your parent is going to have to convince the owner that you and your friends are responsible adults, that you won't have raucous parties, that you won't trash the place, that you won't have more people staying at the house than you're allowed, etc. You get the idea, I'm sure!

If you do happen to find an understanding owner that'll agree to rent to you and your friends, I'm quite sure they'll require one of your parents to co-sign the lease, and they'll probably also require full payment for the rental in advance, along with a larger than normal security deposit.

I'm not saying this will work, but it's certainly worth a try!

Hotels & Motels

I'm not hopeful that you'll find any decent hotel or motel that will rent to 18-year olds. But I'll do a little checking around for you, and I'll post back if I come up with anything.


One last option that just came to mind is a hostel stay. I'm pretty sure a hostel isn't what you had in mind, either. But it could be an option, if all else fails.

There's a nice hostel down by the harbor in Hyannis, as well as a waterview hostel in a gorgeous setting out on the National Seashore in Truro. If that's something that might interest you, I'll be happy to give you more info on those, too.

So, those are my ideas for now. Feel free to get back to me any time for more information. Just click on the "Click here to post comments" link below, or drop me a private email via my contact form.

Best Regards,


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